Named by Alexander the Great after one of his sisters, the city of Thessaloniki is one of the most visited places in Europe thanks to its elegant architecture, fascinating history and awesome vibe.
Thessaloniki, the capital of Northern Macedonia and the 2nd largest city in Greece, is a city of staggering beauty where the ancient blends very well with the new.
They say that one of the shortcomings of the city is the traffic and the lack of parking space, but once you arrive there, the best way to enjoy the experience is walking and discovering every inch and every hidden corner of Thessaloniki.
The landmark of the city is the White Tower, which now lodges the Museum of Thessaloniki, a place that preserves the once troubled history of this millennial settlement.
If you are uncertain of going around on your own, there are organized group tours that will help you settle a route downtown; this itinerary might last includes the Archaeological Museum, Church of St. Sofia, Saint Demetrious Byzantine Cathedral, the Byzantine Castle, Aristotlous Square (always crowded with tourists) and the Port of Thessaloniki.
You will admire a the statue of Alexander the Great – which matches the grandeur of the character who inspired the sculpture, you can see a play at Aristotelian State Theater – since you find yourself in the homeland of European theatre, which can be spotted close to the Radio House (easy to find as it has a very tall antenna), go and check the local market and indulge yourself with the delicious vegetables, fish, meat, spices and more.
We recommend the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and close after, a visit to the marvelous and great Saint Demetrius Byzantine Cathedral, which holds relics lasting from the dawn of Christianity; the Church of Holy Sofia, where the pious atmosphere is as impressive as its beautifully built interior. There are plenty of benches for rest or prayer and pay attention to your posture when you sit on a chair: try to avoid keeping one leg over the other, as it might be considered offensive.
The Roman Arenas are well maintained and you will have the feeling that you went back in ancient time.
The Greek people have an admirable respect for their history and past, which they carefully preserve and expose. Here, in Thessaloniki, you can go shopping for the newest luxury accessories while you pass by thousand year old walls and columns, among orange trees filled with oranges!
The Aristotlous Square is absolutely charming with its large opening, elegant buildings and hotels and of course the beautiful view of the Aegean Sea.
And since Thessaloniki is well-known for its crazy and vivid nightlife, take a walk through its Old Center and the Ladadika district, where outdoor bouzouki parties can burst out any moment, inviting you to improve your dance steps and learn new ones on famous syrtaki, zeibekiko or kalamatiano songs.
Since this settlement has been inhabited by numerous civilizations throughout the ages, you will recognize plenty influences from several cultures, such as Byzantine, Ottoman, Jewish, Persian or Roman and once you arrive here, you will enjoy a live history lesson, but don’t imagine you will be thrown back to school, as this lesson is be, by far more alluring, enriching and interesting than anything you may have learned in class.